Now that summer is in the air, the produce section at the market is filled with vibrant reds, cool blues and soothing orange colors. With such a dazzling array of fruit to choose from at the peak of ripeness, it takes no time at all to concoct a luscious smoothie that packs a punch.
In a previous post, I pointed out the benefits of eating fresh produce that is available for that specific season. June is considered the month for blueberries, with the harvest season ending in late August. Some farms will even let you pick your own blueberry clusters from their briar patches, but if you don’t have the time or inclination to do so, you can stock up at your local market.
Not only are blueberries popular with kids and adults alike, but they provide many health benefits. To maximize their nutritional value, they should be enjoyed raw as opposed to being used in baked desserts. This tart fruit is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C and can help lower your cholesterol. It also reduces belly fat, boosts your brain power and keeps your heart healthy. It’s no wonder that cosmetics companies are adding “essence of blueberry” to their skin care products, because blueberries are also known for their anti-aging properties.
I love a good sale, so I bought a few cartons of blueberries at the organic market last week. I wanted to make a smoothie with freshly squeezed orange juice and frozen bananas, but because blueberries have such a sharp taste, I needed to add a sweeter fruit to complement the flavor. Since mangoes are in season as well, I added that exotic fruit to my cart. This greenish-yellow fruit is native to South Asia, but it’s available at most U.S. markets, especially during the summer. Because mangoes are so delicious, people often forget that they’re good for you too. Mangoes are rich in vitamin A and can improve digestion, enhance your immune system and remove free radicals from your body.
I couldn’t wait to get home and start experimenting. Soon, the kitchen was filled with the spicy-sweet scent of ripe fruit. I was very pleased with the results. Not only is a blueberry mango smoothie a refreshing drink on a hot day, it’s also a beautiful dark purple color that is pleasing to the eye and has a subtle sweetness. I could drink two glasses!
Here’s my recipe for a blueberry-mango smoothie. Whip up a batch, and then invite your friends over for the perfect summer drink.
- Juice of one orange
- One mango, cut into cubes
- One large banana, frozen
- ¾ cups of blueberries
- 1 cup of ice
- ½ to ¾ cups of purified water
- Add the above ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Add water and ice as necessary to change the desired thickness.
Ann Martin is a contributing writer for www.dinnerwarecenter.com, which specializes in dinnerware and flatware sets. You can see the entire collection of Noritake click here. Ann enjoys writing for other cooking, home improvement and garden sites as well. When she’s not experimenting with new recipes, she travels and loves to read new books.
Photo credit: Jason Sandeman